Stock and Bonds

Yes.

In answer to your question about whether I’m bonded with my baby after 14 months: Yes. Totally. Mostly.

And if you want the emotional play-by-play, here it is:

Love: Yes. I totally love her. It wasn’t instantaneous, and it didn’t happen like it apparently does for every other woman on the planet, because evidently I’m the only donor egg recipient in history who didn’t feel instantly connected as soon as I saw the flicker of her heartbeat, but you know what? I don’t really like those people anyhow.

Bonding: Sure, but not right away. For me, the real bonding started at around 5 or 6 months. Maybe it was because that’s when she started sleeping through the night, or maybe it was because she was less of a poopy lump of need and more of a …. I don’t know … person. Either way, by 10 months, I felt much more of a connection, and by now she’s profoundly in my heart.

Resentful of My Husband: No, actually. I thought that would be a factor, but it really isn’t. I can’t tell you if this is because of anything he does or doesn’t do, and I have no idea if it was all our therapy, but it’s a non-issue. I’m not even bothered during her Daddy phases, which is something I was warned would happen. Every kid has Daddy phases; genetics have nothing to do with it. It’s just not a problem for me.

Who-Does-She-Look-Like Awkwardness: Not really. If the person asking just forgot about the donor, then I remind them: “those eyebrows are all the donor’s.” If it’s someone who doesn’t know (and I don’t care to tell), then I skirt the issue: “She just looks like her.” And enough people think we look alike that it doesn’t come up very often.

Sadness about Loss of Genetic Connection: This is a tough one. There are the times when I really pine for a genetic connection, and I don’t always know how to navigate those moments. Just the other day, my dad was feeding her and said, “Her appetite comes from me.” My heart breaks a little because I really wish her appetite did come from him — well, not necessarily his appetite, but maybe his musicality or his smile. Even now, I’ve got a few tears streaming over this loss, so I guess it’ll continue to be a process.

What Ifs: Yeah. All the time. Can’t help that one. But luckily that regret isn’t isolated to just waiting too long to try to have a baby. I also wish I’d chosen a different major in college. And grad school. And that I’d been more professionally successful. And that I were an overall better person.

Jealous of the Donor: Jesus, I didn’t see this one coming, and I don’t know how I could have missed it. Maybe it’s because my daughter looks so much like her. Last month the donor texted me a Happy New Year with a couple of photos of her son (17-months old), and holy shit, our kids look exactly the same. So unsettling. I was so uneasy about it that I had to ask her to not send anymore pictures for now (she felt horrible). Thankfully my feelings aren’t directed at her, but I just quietly wish I had a baby that looked like me, too.

Jealous of Women with Babies that Look Like Them: Yup.
Jealous of Young Women Who Will Have Babies that Look Like Them: Yup.
And honestly, I’m not even the jealous type. I never pine for other people’s cars or husbands or clothes (well, maybe clothes), but the baby thing… Yeah, that one stings a bit.

Wonder if I’d Love My Own Genetic Baby More: This one seems to be sticking around for now, too. And it’s such a stupid question because I’ll never know the answer. Even if I had two babies — one genetic and one not — and I loved the genetic baby more, I wouldn’t know if it was because of genetics or for other reasons. It’s such a dumb thing to ponder. But I can’t help myself.

Conditionality of My Love for My Daughter: Dude, how horrible am I that this is actually a thing? When we had the neurofibromatosis scare, I really did feel that I wouldn’t love her as much if she looked like the elephant man. It seems so counterintuitive: shouldn’t a mother feel more protective when something’s wrong with her kid? What a shameful thing to admit, but what can I say? It’s true. Now with a few months’ perspective, I realize that it was partly an emotional defense from facing with such a scary prospect, but I still don’t know that I could have been the mother I needed to be. Thankfully, that conditionality is waning now that we’re more fully bonded. I feel pretty certain that if something came up today, my commitment wouldn’t waver. But back at 9 months, it was too soon. Then again, I’m also the mother who finds her kid more adorable when she’s dressed cuter, so maybe I’m just an asshole.

Would I Do It Again?: Yes. Yes. A bazillion times yes. I love being a mother. I love doing whatever I need to do — therapy, reading, writing, talking to my husband, talking to other parents — to make myself a better person for her so that she has all the benefits she can. I’ve been a super hand-on, stay-at-home home for her first 14 months, and my life is so much more fulfilled now. If I had to accept a child-free life, then I like to think that I would have done it with grace (although I probably wouldn’t have), but I’m grateful every day that my daughter has made me a mother.

Will I Do It Again?: That’s a story for another post.

~~~

PS: If there’s another emotion, fear, or question that you’re wondering about, write a comment or shoot me an email (chickandeggs at gmail), and I’ll add it here.

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About TG

My eggs don't work, so I manifested a baby via egg donation. Let's blog and see what happens.
This entry was posted in Donor Egg Parenting, My Head, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Stock and Bonds

  1. A. says:

    I’m glad you two are knitting closer :) Your honesty, I’m sure, is important for a lot of women out there who don’t get solidarity and reassurance from the other group you mentioned.

    Like

  2. Sara says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty! I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling these things sometimes with my own child also born to donor egg last year.

    Like

  3. Cristina says:

    Thank you for sharing. It’s definitely nice to hear some of the same thoughts I have as well, and to be able to voice them with someone else. My husband, family and friends would never understand that feeling, and even the friend I know that has a DE son, doesn’t feel that way. Do I love my daughter with all my heart? Absolutely. But do I sometimes wish she looked like me or wish she was mine genetically? Also equally true. I do know that I wouldn’t change a thing on how she came to us because I feel grateful to have her. But I still wish I was given the chance to have a child with my own eggs.

    Like

  4. Linda Strong says:

    Funny how different people react so differently. I never had any desire to have my two biological children look like me. Good thing too because, as little children, neither one did. Even now, as adults, only one resembles me somewhat. My daughter, who I adopted internationally, also, no surprise, doesn’t look like me. My big concern was for my children to be healthy. BTW, any parent would be shaken and feel inadequate at the prospect of their child having a serious medical condition.
    I really enjoy your blog.

    Like

  5. Ladybird says:

    Thank you !
    You helped me a lot just now, reading your blog… I am confronted with the fatality of moving to donor egg iVF because of sudden and inexplicable early menopause, and your words helped me. Thank you.

    Like

  6. Ashley says:

    I am currently an egg donor and was wondering if you could suggest any gift ideas for the intended mother. I have a few ideas in mind but was wondering if you had any ideas from the intended mother’s perspective.

    Like

    • TG says:

      You are so thoughtful. That’s incredibly sweet of you, and I’m sure your recipient will be grateful – and feel lucky to have such a generous-hearted donor!

      In terms of a gift, my suggestion may be more narrow than you’d like, so please take it or leave it. I would limit it to something temporary like flowers or a dessert or a gift certificate to a nature park or something, and here’s why: if the transfer doesn’t take, or if there’s a miscarriage, or even if there’s a healthy baby, it can be hard to have a permanent reminder of the donor. Even if the mom is perfectly comfortable using a donor, she may not want to have an external memento that reminds her (and hopefully eventually her child) at moments when she’d rather not think about it.

      That said, trust your gut. If you want to get her something more long-lasting, go for it.

      Best of luck!

      Like

  7. Megan says:

    I miss reading about you. Where have you gone?!

    Like

  8. Amy says:

    I have spent several hours reading through your whole blog. All I can say is wow and thank you. I’m so happy that you were successful in having a baby (who’s probably a full-on toddler at this point!), it gives me hope for my journey as well. My fingers are crossed that you will be back with more posts soon!

    Like

  9. Chessie says:

    As a mother of two children, one of which was conceived with a donor egg, (I guess a lot happened between ages 38, when my first was born, and 42!), I can share that using a donor has mot affected our bond/my love, in any way. I actually sometimes feel guilty that I favor my youngest so much, but I still see him as a baby, even at 3 years’ old. People do comment that my eldest looks like me and my 3-year old looks like my husband and it does not phase me at all. My husband has said that he could never have bonded with “another man’s son” if we used donor sperm, and while I do not believe that ( he is a caring, loving person), I knew that I would love an adopted baby, or an egg donor baby, as much as I love my “own” child and I was right. For a mother without her “own” child, one might imagine how different things would be, but for me, they just aren’t. TG’s thoughts in this post could have easily been mine, with my eldest. You really do “get it” with your second, and see every day with your baby for what it is: the best days of your life.

    Like

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